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Jacquelyne Froeber

HealthyWomen's Senior Editor

Jacquelyne Froeber is an award-winning journalist and editor. She’ holds a BA in journalism from Michigan State University. She is the former editor-in-chief of Celebrated Living magazine and has editing and writing experience for print and online publications, including Health magazine, Coastal Living magazine and

As a breast cancer survivor, Jacquelyne encourages everyone to perform self-exams and get their yearly mammograms.

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Taking Control: Our Recent Survey Says Women Want Regular Periods, No Hormones and More Communication About Contraceptives

Read about the surprising results of our survey about birth control

Your Health

Birth control has come a long way, baby. Today, millions of women in the United States rely on contraceptives for many reasons, such as regulating periods, preventing pregnancy and improving health conditions.

But the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion has sparked discussion about access to birth control and what that might look like in the future.

Right now, birth control is legal in all 50 states, but we wanted to know more about what’s important to women when it comes to contraceptives. And whether the Supreme Court decision had an impact on the decision to take birth control.

In our recent survey of more than 5,000 people between the ages of 18 and 55 who were assigned female at birth, we asked for thoughts on hormonal and non-hormonal birth control — including cost and fears of unwanted pregnancy, among other topics. We also asked more than 500 healthcare professionals (HCPs) who specialize in gynecology to weigh in on similar topics.

We found similarities in the way women and HCPs view birth control awareness and affordability. But we also found some surprising differences.

Here’s more on the key takeaways from our survey about awareness, attitudes and beliefs about birth control.

About half of respondents are worried about unwanted pregnancy to some degree

Even though half our respondents were worried about unwanted pregnancy, 2 out of 5 of those who are worried respondents are not on birth control. Thirty-five percent said they don’t know if they can trust their birth control. Also, it’s not always affordable.

two in five women concerned about unwanted pregnancy are not on birth control chart

Birth control pills were voted most popular by respondents and the most prescribed/recommended by HCPs …

Most respondents were aware of the pill (87%), thought it was affordable (58%) and were likely to have discussed it with their HCP (58%).

… but not everyone is on the same page

Less than half of respondents said they discussed contraceptives with their HCP at their annual exam, but almost 3 out of 4 (74%) HCPs reported discussing birth control with their patients.

In fact, almost 1 out of 4 respondents ages 46 to 55 said they’ve never had a discussion with an HCP about birth control methods

That’s compared to just 1 out of 10 younger women.

the pill is the most common birth control method discussed with healthcare providers chart

Effectiveness is most important factor regarding birth control for both respondents and HCPs

Also important: ease, physical discomfort, side effects, cost, health benefits such as relief from fibroids.

effectiveness tops patients' importance criteria when selecting birth control chart

60% of respondents prefer birth control without hormones …

… yet, 59% of HCPs recommend birth control with hormones when patients don’t have a preference.

three in five women 18 - 55 years of age prefer birth control without hormones chart

when the patient does not have a a preference, three in five HCPs recommend birth control with hormones chart

In a surprising twist, almost half of respondents prefer to have a regular period

Not a typo: The majority of these women said a regular period signals that their body is doing what it should be doing. Regular periods also provide peace of mind that they’re not pregnant.

However, more than half (51%) of HCPs said they think their patients would prefer to have no period.

half of HCPs believe patients prefer not to have a period chart

top reasons for preferring a regular period ... body doing as it should chart

Overall, U.S. Supreme Court decision has not made a difference to the majority of respondents regarding their approach to birth control

two-thirds of women - no change in their birth control as a result of the supreme court decision chart

Two-thirds of respondents have not changed their birth control in light of the Supreme Court decision. But a quarter of respondents said they have already changed or plan to change birth control as a result. And almost half (49%) of those who made changes went for a long-lasting or permanent solution (tubal ligation or an IUD or implant).

For HCPs: Almost 1 in 3 (27%) said the decision has changed the way they counsel patients about birth control options

Of those, a majority have counseled or will start counseling more patients to use long-lasting birth control methods, and 6 out of 10 said they have counseled more patients to start using birth control.

of HCPs who have changed birth control counseling due to Supreme Court decision, three in four have/will counsel more patients to use long lasting birth control

Speaking of long-lasting birth control, 4 out of 5 HCPs prescribe IUDs regularly

82% prescribe and insert IUDs. The most common concern from patients: pain associated with inserting the IUD.

four in five HCPs regularly prescribe and insert IUDs chart

64% of HCPs said their patients understand that, aside from abstinence, sterilization and vasectomy, IUDs are the most effective form of birth control ...

… However, only 26% of respondents said they believe IUDs are most effective.

nearly two-thirds of HCPs believe patients understan IUD effectiveness chart

Last, the majority of respondents feel the healthcare industry is understanding their needs and wants when it comes to contraception options

Despite the gaps in communication and understanding between women and HCPs, 57% of respondents feel like the industry is addressing their needs.

the majority of women believe the healthcare industry is innovating in developing birth control chart

This resource was created with support from Sebela Women’s Health, Inc.

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